The basketball team is playing the Friday before exams; however, the stadium is quiet. The score is 9 to 3 while one of Taylor University’s players shoots a free throw. The ball hits the rim and bounces through the hoop, scoring the tenth point; the crowd erupts.
“Silent Night” is one of Taylor University’s trademark traditions when the student body dresses up in costumes and remains silent until the tenth point of the game. Later in the game, the crowd engages in singing “Silent Night.”
In partnership with Russ Frazier, the varsity basketball coach, the Leesville student body has begun a tradition similar to Taylor University’s. On Friday, December 14, Leesville students created a winter wonderland at the varsity men’s basketball game by dressing in their favorite holiday attire and singing various Christmas tunes during time outs.
Frazier, who brought the idea from some spirited students at his previous school, said, “The themed nights were very successful at Northwood. It’s a great way to get people to come to our games.”
Mason Pyper, sophomore, said, “I dressed up to show some school spirit for the team.”
Frazier elaborated on how the themed nights create a home-court advantage for the Leesville team. “We had a good turnout, a great atmosphere, and we definitely distracted the other team.”
The majority of the student section dressed in Christmas sweaters, Santa hats and even tinsel and lights. Students voted on the best costume during the fourth quarter by cheering for their favorite contestant.
Pyper, the winner of the contest, said, “I think that everyone dressing up and cheering for the team definitely helped the team win.”
As a participant in the themed night, it was evident the student section and the players enjoyed the night together.
Frazier said, “I saw the players laughing and smiling starting in warmups. We created a college basketball game atmosphere with the [Christmas] theme.”
He believes the great student turnout and the costumes served as motivation for his team to win on Friday.
“The themes are a way to start new traditions here at Leesville; it’s another way to set the Loonies apart from other schools,” said Frazier.